NBC Chairman Explains Why Network Saved 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'

NBC became the most heroic network for many fans after it saved Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and now an executive has explained why they came to the rescue.

Canceled shows are rarely saved after they get the axe. Even more rarely does one network scoop up a show that was canceled by another. Even then, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a rare case, as it was wrapping up its fifth season when it was cancelled. For most producers, five seasons is a good run, and there's no shame in calling it quits at that point.

For NBC, however, Brooklyn Nine-Nine still had a lot of potential. NBC entertainment Chariman, Robert Greenblatt recently explained why they rescued the series in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

"Brooklyn is a show our company produces for Fox, so it's a show that's very close to us," he said. "I've been saying to certain people in the press that if we knew Andy Samberg was going to be cast in that show, we never would have sold it to Fox. We've been watching it closely ever since."

"We jumped on it really quickly and are thrilled to have it and think it fits into our brand of comedy in many ways better than it fit into Fox's brand of comedy," Greenblatt continued. "It feels like it goes along shows like A.P. Bio, Will & Grace, Superstore, and The Good Place. … It's also one of the few comedies in recent years that does a robust international number, and it has a syndication upside, which a lot of shows don't have anymore."

When the show was picked up by a different network just one day after being cancelled, many fans congratulated each other for "saving" it through outcry on social media. Greenblatt confirmed that this played a role in NBC's decision.

"We love the fans and we love when they're vocal. I was getting messages from all kinds of people Friday and Saturday saying the show was trending on Twitter," Greenblatt said.

"It was great to know the fans were outraged, but we were too," he confessed. "We were right there with them. We love when fans yell and scream on Twitter, but we hope that transfers and they watch the show."

Brooklyn Nine-Nine isn't the only show to get cut on Fox. The network has trimmed down their primetime line-up significantly to make room for more sports coverage.

Back in January, Fox signed a five-year deal with the NFL for Thursday Night Football. The sporting event will occupy more than 30 hours of Fox's airtime, leaving less room for many of the beloved shows that call the network home. In addition, Fox holds the rights to air Major League Baseball postseason games, including the World Series.


To top it all off, Fox is in a unique position among TV networks. Unlike ABC, NBC and CBS, Fox does not program the 10 p.m. hour, giving them less real estate to begin with.